A widowed detective investigates deaths linked to the same house. Well-made series reboot (set between the first two of the 00s US J-horror remakes) that delivers with scares, splatter, icky imagery, fine cast and direction, plus some interesting script work. More a series of vignettes than an actual story, but this is superior genre fare.
Countdown (2019, dir. Justin Dec)
A student nurse and her friends are stalked by Death via a mobile phone app. Generally solid Final Destination jumpscare variant with some effective sequences and a dry sense of humour throughout. No classic, but an interesting if disposable contemporary wrinkle on well-worn themes nevertheless.
Brahms: The Boy II (2020, dir. William Brent Bell)
A family recovering from trauma rent a rural property in the grounds of a country house where a tragedy occurred. Predictable bloodless jumpscare sequel that struggles to reconfigure its villain, rules and premise from Part I. The dependable Ralph Ineson glowers in support as a gamekeeper.
Winchester (2018, dir. The Spierig Brothers)
A widowed doctor is hired to prove that the eccentric owner of a weapons company is insane. Handsomely-mounted jumpscare horror that doesn’t find much to do with its based-on-a-true-story premise, so settles for a few boos and no eews. Disappointing, given the talent involved.
Insidious: The Last Key (2018, dir. Adam Robitel)
Elise Rainier returns to her childhood home to face her fears. The fourth in the Insidious franchise is a prequel which loops back to part one. For series fans only, but well-enough handled in its jumpscares and creepy moments, plus one great idea, decently handled.
Ghost House (2017, dir. Rich Ragsdale)
A young woman on vacation in Thailand is cursed, and has to fight off a demon intent on possessing her. Straightforward jumpscare horror with some interesting moments and a neat supporting turn from Mark Boone Jr.
The Conjuring (2013, dir. James Wan)
A husband and wife team of exorcists battle a witch terrorising a family. Superior 70s-set jumpscare haunted house picture. Does nothing original, but delivers its shocks in style. A sequel soon followed.
Within [AKA Crawlspace] (2016, dir. Phil Claydon)
A teen fears her new home may be haunted; the truth is perhaps worse. Straightforward jumpscare horror which takes time to set up plenty of plot possibilities before making its choice. Some decent moments, though also a sense of being edited to the bone, losing some subplots.
At The Devil’s Door [AKA Home] (2014, dir. Nicholas McCarthy)
A realtor finds that the property she is trying to sell is host to a malevolent entity. Its odd structure and unwarranted ending aside, a reasonable entry in the possessed property jumpscare sub-sub-genre. Some neat moments among the standard shenanigans.
Don’t Knock Twice (2016, dir. Caradog W. James)
An artist and her estranged teen daughter battle a demon summoned by the girl. Standard jumpscare shenanigans with some interesting visual moments but hampered by confusing story logic which collapses the enterprise.